Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Underbelly of Motherhood

So...everyone knows that the big moments of letting go are terribly hard for we moms. Kindergarten. Middle School. High School. You get the idea.

There's another kind of letting go, though, that could possibly be the death of me. It's the release of responsibility. Twice this week, Issa has been unable to locate something because she has put it somewhere screwy. It's her room; her stuff; her responsibility. Monday night, it was her pink ballet tights. We found them wadded up dirty under her bed. She put on tan tights, pink leg warmers, and all was well. No one said a word to her.

This morning, she couldn't find her tennis shoes and it's a PE day. We helped her look for a bit, but eventually we had to go to school. She wore her boots. I'm sure I'm the only parent in the world that is hoping the PE teacher nails her, but she won't. It's the first time in two years Issa hasn't had tennis shoes for PE day. We told Issa she was now on her own to find them when she got home, and there was no tv until she did find them. Her response, "Okay." She was unfazed. She actually skipped into school.

Enter the mom guilt. I should be glad she went to school happy, but I'm fuming she can't find her damn shoes. I should be glad she found an alternative solution for her tights issue, but I'm pissed she even needed to. If I'm really honest, I'm more than a smidge worried that other people will wonder why the hell I didn't make sure she had the right things.

This is the underbelly of motherhood. Trying to raise resilient kids but then being frustrated when they aren't as rattled by things that you think they should be. Trying to teach responsibility in the shadow of a fear of judgement. It sucks. Plain and simple. I would love to be more eloquent, but I also want to keep this space real, and this is just where I am right now.

I know I'm exhausted, which is compounding all of this, and I know I need to get myself out of this pit...and I'm trying. But I'm also trying to give myself permission to feel it right now. There is clearly something I need to learn here; I've come to recognize this pit as growing pain. I know I need to learn to let go, which is easier said than done for my type-A self. I also know this is a self-check. Why am I so worried about what other people think? Am I giving myself the same grace I give others? Why not? These are the questions I'm wrestling with right now. It's uncomfortable, but growing always is.

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